Thanit ‘Boom’ Watthanaya defeated Andy Howson on December 1, 2012 on Muay Thai In America‘s In Honor of the King promotion in Los Angeles, California, USA. It’s time we get to know Boom Watthanaya.
Boom Watthanaya’s Stats:
Record is 46-12 (with 19 KO’s)
Fights from 118- 125lbs
Legal Name: Thanit Watthanaya
Fight name: ฟ้าบระทาน (Faabrataan)
DOB: 22 May 1985
Please tell us about your Muay Thai history in Thailand.
I heard Muay Thai before I ever saw it. When I was about 4 my village began to get some electricity. Some people had radios, so everyone would get together and listen to the fights. A lot of legends like Boon Lai, my Dad has never seen, only heard on the radio. After a while there were some black and white TVs in the village, but never my house, so I would follow my Dad to watch the fights but would always fall asleep before Kru Ek (main event). My oldest brother was a very good fighter, but he never had management. He went to Bangkok to train with Sor. Thanikul, but missed the village too much. When I first saw him fight live I wanted to be a fighter, I was 5. My Dad and Mom didn’t want me to fight, I was the youngest, they wanted me to be better educated, and they thought I was too weak.
When I was 13 I had my first fight, I was supposed to fight for the school but our school had no money and couldn’t send us to fight, so I fought in at the Nang Wat instead (Temple Festival). I had no opponent, and neither did my friend we were the same weight so we fought. We didn’t care, and I beat him, he wanted a rematch so we fought again, but I win again. We are still best friends. I kept training, but we didn’t have a gym or trainers, so people just pretend and hold pads for me and sometimes people come home from the camps and teach me too. During high school I only fought 6 times. I was also a runner, I would run for money. My fastest is 10km in 29 minutes. In the summer break I would leave home to work. After school I went to the military. Only me and one other brother graduated high school, there were 5 of us.
When I completed my service I moved to Bangkok to work. I went to see my brother, and relative who was a trainer at a gym. He made me train and when the owner of the gym saw my body he made me a fighter, and also work for him full time cutting glass and installing windows. He gave me the name Faabrataan and took good care of me. His gym is called Bor. Breechaa and his name is Mr. Gai. I got to train with Boon Lai Sor. Thanikul and Samingnoi Sor. Thanikul; they were the full time trainers at the gym and I got to meet and train with many amazing fighters.
In Bangkok I fought 10 times and win by KO/TKO every time. I got to fight Rajadamnern Stadium and the Mall Khorat. My manager Mr. Gai said I was still no good so he sent me to Uttaradit Province to fight and take care of the kids at the gym there. They like me because I do not drink and I train hard. There I fought over 30 times in less than 3 months. I came back to Bangkok to fight Channel 7 but I sprained my ankle and then my Mom got sick so I went home. I needed to help my family, so at this time Frances (my wife) come to live with my family and we help with the farm. We got married in the village. After that we worked really hard so I could come to Canada.
And in the West?
I came to Canada in February 2008. My wife’s trainer (Glen Kalesinko) got a fight for me against one of Ahjan Suchart’s (Siam No. 1) fighters in Trail BC for April. After that I must focus on learning English and working, the next year my Mom die and we went back home. When we came back to Canada I just focus on work so I can save money to build a stupa for my Mom. We went back to Thailand in 2010 and I become a Monk. My wife knew I really want to fight so when we come back she try to help.
I got a fight in Calgary for Journey Fight Series in March 2011, and then in May 2011 I got the opportunity to fight Romie Adanza. I trained my self for the fight, and worked full time. The fight was going good, but early in the second round my should dislocated really badly. Master Song tell me to go back out for the third but I was in too much pain and had to just give up; I couldn’t do anything. When I come back to Canada they say I had nerve damage and I can’t move my hand, and I couldn’t go to work. I have never been injured and it was scary for my family, it took a long time just for the nerve to heal. I got to rematch Romie Adanza exactly one year later but I was still worried about my shoulder so I did not fight my best.
What were the major adjustments transitioning from Muay Thai in Thailand to Muay Thai in North America?
I think in North America the politics are the most difficult. It is difficult to get a fight, and when you do there is more pressure. The judging and referees are different too, in Thailand there is a standard for that. Training is different, it is hard to find an actual trainer who will hold pads consistently. In Thailand the pad holders are very good.
I am lucky Mr. Gai make me work full time and fight too. Lots of fighters in Thailand just train and fight full time, but here that is very hard to do. I must work for my family, and my family in Thailand too.
What’s an average day like for you in Vancouver?
I usually get up about 6AM and go running. It is so cold here. When I come home I do some exercises and then make coffee. I get my daughter ready for her babysitter and take her there while my wife goes to University. I work full time as a resident caretaker for two apartment buildings. The buildings are old so there is a lot of work and I do renovations too. My wife manages the buildings. I finish work and pick up my daughter. We try to have dinner as a family then I go training till about 11PM. With training my job is difficult because it can be unpredictable, and we are on call too.
Tell us about your recent win against Andy Howson.
Training camp was hard while working full time. I trained really hard for that fight, and right before the fight my whole family and I got really sick. I tried not to think about that, and had a great week in LA meeting great people.
When Andy knocked me down the first time I knew I could still do it because I had knocked him down in the second, but after the knockdown in the fourth I was discouraged. I went the corner thinking that I am not at his level but my manager tell me to do this for my family, and I look to my trainer and I think of every who helped me so I start the fifth round like a new fight. I was looking for a knockout, when I got it I felt I was so surprised. Right away I think about my family and I make them proud.
Is there anyone in particular you’d like to step into the ring with?
I would like to fight with Romie again, because a lot of people were not happy with the decision. Andy and I will fight again for sure, it was an honor to fight him and we fight a good fight.
I would like to fight a lot, and would be happy to fight with anyone my same weight. Hopefully I can fight in Thailand this year too for my family.
Any advice for people who want to live and train in Thailand?
I think going to the village in Isarn you will see and learn more about Muay Thai because most fighters start in the country. Once there you can learn about how Thai people live, and farm, what they eat. A lot of fights are for Nang Boon (Merit Making Ceremonies) so you can learn about the culture too.
What can we look forward to from Thanit ‘Boom’ Watthanaya?
I am very grateful for my situation right now. I have a full time trainer, Michael Lin. We train under Ahjan Song at Kai Singthong in Vancouver. I am managed by Mr Bob Chaney, and his wife, who is Thai and is like my big sister. They take good care of me and have big plans for me this year. So many people help me in both Canada and America so that now I will only be working part time. This year I want to fight a lot and get a title! People will see me improve as a fighter.